On the 60th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, signed on January 22, 1963, the foundation stone was laid for the future French-German Cultural Institute in Erbil, in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region (KRI). The French and German ambassadors attended this event, as did the president of the KRI.
This institute will be housed in the Erbil Citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site. Three cultures will share this new venue designed to foster intercultural exchange. The new institute will offer French, German, Kurdish and Arabic language programs, as well as cultural activities highlighting French and German culture and aimed at an Iraqi-Kurdish audience, especially young people.
French-German Cultural Institutes are among the 15 priority projects included in the Aachen Treaty signed on January 22, 2019; that treaty, which follows on from the Elysée Treaty, reflects France and Germany’s desire to expand the range of their cooperation. Four years after it was signed, three institutes out of nine have opened their doors: Palermo (June 2021), Ramallah (June 2022), and Atlanta (September 2022).